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Quarterbacks made the difference in Friday night’s Pacific high school football games.

Senior A.J. Morgan ran for a touchdown and passed for two, boosting the Kadena Buccaneers to a 36-0 shutout of the Kubasaki Shogun and keeping them a half-game behind the Kadena Islanders in the Okinawa High School Athletic Association.

Junior Leonard Lynce accounted for all four touchdowns and recorded 10 tackles, rallying Nile C. Kinnick past American School In Japan 24-19 and keeping the Red Devils a game behind four-time champion Yokota in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools

Okinawa

Kadena Buccaneers 36, Kubasaki Shogun 0

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Morgan tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Heath Anderson and a 23-yarder to Gary Wright in the second quarter and ran 12 yards for another score late in the third quarter.

The Bucs also got scores from quarterback Tyler Schmidt (25-yard first-quarter TD run), placekicker Thomas Armani (33-yard fourth-quarter field goal) and tailback Darnell Womach (8-yard second-quarter TD run).

“We’re spreading the wealth, everybody getting their share of touches, trying to take the pressure off A.J.,” coach Brian Wetherington said. “It’s a slow but necessary process.”

Though the Bucs (2-1) have shut out opposing offenses for 12 straight quarters, allowing only a special-teams TD to the Islanders, the team needs to keep opposing defenses from focusing on Morgan.

The Shogun fell to 1-3, getting only as close as the Buccaneers’ 5-yard line in the third quarter. They also lost all-purpose senior Nick Leemaster to a left-leg injury in the final quarter.

“We have to go back to work,” Shogun coach Charles Burns said, “and salvage a football team out of this group. We keep building. It’s a struggle, but something good will come out of it.”

Japan

Nile C. Kinnick 24, American School In Japan 19

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Lynce went 7-for-10 for 153 yards, including a TD pass of 82 yards to David McDermott to open the final quarter and spark a rally from a 19-12 third-quarter deficit. Later in the quarter, he returned a punt 35 yards for the game-winning points.

Earlier, Lynce passed 5 yards for a touchdown to Greg Dietrich, and ran 20 yards for a touchdown to end the first half. Lynce ran five times for 100 yards and amassed 288 all-purpose yards.

The victory came one week after the Red Devils (4-1 overall, 2-1 Kanto Plain) suffered a 44-6 blowout at Yokota’s hands.

“After a game like that, we needed to open things up, I needed to be more conscious of putting the ball in the air more and to use one of our several good athletes to make an impact and he definitely rose to the occasion. We challenged people to step up and he answered the call,” offensive coordinator James Davis said.

Playing for a second straight week without star tailback Richie Korth (knee injury), Kinnick also got 52 yards on five carries from fullback Brenden Lynce. Backup tailbacks Ace Ranada and Jarvis Williams combined for 70 yards on 15 attempts.

McDermott and Ken Long each intercepted an ASIJ pass, and James Talbert had eight tackles for a Kinnick defense that rose up for two goal-line stands in the final five minutes inside the Kinnick 5-yard line.

“[It was] a bit of a scare, yes,” Davis said, adding that Kinnick has some work to do in advance of matchups with Zama American and Yokota.

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